34th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1991)

Unforgettable — that’s what the 34th Annual GRAMMY Awards show at Radio City Music Hall in New York was. Natalie Cole’s salute to the music of her legendary father Nat “King” Cole was remembered with many awards — winning Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Traditional Pop Performance, Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals, Best Engineered Album — Non-Classical, while her producer David Foster took home the GRAMMY for Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical). Accepting the Song Of The Year GRAMMY for “Unforgettable,” veteran songwriter Irving Gordon described the experience nicely. “It’s like being caught in the middle of a miracle,” he explained. “In a youth-oriented culture — where youth is worshipped — it’s nice to have a middle-aged song do something.”

All ages were represented on the show, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. As Johnny Mathis said to his co-presenter Dionne Warwick, “I just love the GRAMMYs. On what other list would I find my name between Madonna and Megadeth?”

Paul Simon got things off to an impressively rhythmic start with an opening performance of “Cool, Cool River” from his Rhythm Of The Saints album. A dreadlocked Seal made a memorable live American debut performing his first smash “Crazy.” Michael Bolton sang his hit version of “When A Man Loves A Woman” and won the GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. And Mary Chapin Carpenter added a bit of Cajun spice to the proceedings by performing “Down At The Twist And Shout” with the great rootsy band BeauSoleil. After being presented with the GRAMMY for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, by Clint Black and the legendary Roy Rogers, Carpenter thanked the group for “injecting such magic and joy” into “Down At The Twist And Shout.”

Host Goldberg added a different sort of spice and comic relief — even making perhaps the dirtiest sounding joke in GRAMMY history about the show accountants. “I must tell you Deloitte & Touche are two things I do nightly,” she said before reporting that the accountants would be heading out on tour with Guns N’ Roses.

Not everybody was joking around. When R.E.M. won the GRAMMY for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (“Losing My Religion”) — one of their three awards for the night — singer Michael Stipe struck a progressive political note. “We’d like to urge everybody to register and vote in the United States,” Stipe said of the 1992 presidential election looming that would eventually bring Bill Clinton into his first term in office. “We need candidates who will really address important issues — homelessness, AIDS research, economic depression and national healthcare.” He said this while wearing a hat with the words “White House Stop AIDS.”

Academy President Michael Greene spoke about the government’s America 2000 plan, the Bush Administration’s educational strategy of nationwide goals in the new millennium, pointing out, “Among all the goals, the words ‘art’ or ‘music’ are not mentioned even one time. The very idea that you can educate young people in a meaningful way without music and art is simply absurd.” Then, after recognizing Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix and James Brown with Lifetime Achievement Awards, Greene honored Academy Executive Vice President Christine Farnon with the Trustees Award. In paying tribute to Farnon’s 30-plus years of service, he said, “From its earliest days when The Recording Academy was little more than a dream, a letterhead and a golden statue of an antique phonograph, [The Recording Academy] was nurtured and protected by a caring, deeply dedicated professional.”

Stephen Sondheim appeared to honor one of the greatest female stars of the century. “She’s as good as they come,” Sondheim told the Radio City Music Hall audience. “Tonight she is a GRAMMY legend. Her name is Barbra Streisand.” He went on to present her with the GRAMMY Legend Award for “her relentless pursuit of perfection.” For her part, Streisand struck a humble note: “In all honesty, I don’t feel like a legend. I feel more like a work in progress.”

Record Of The Year

Natalie Cole, artist. David Foster, producer.

Album Of The Year
Unforgettable With Love

Natalie Cole, artist. Andre Fischer, David Foster & Tommy LiPuma, producers.

Song Of The Year

Irving Gordon, songwriter.

Best New Artist
Marc Cohn
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female
Something To Talk About

Bonnie Raitt, artist.

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male
Michael Bolton, GRAMMY winner
When A Man Loves A Woman

Michael Bolton, artist.

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Losing My Religion

R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe), artist.

Best Traditional Pop Performance

Natalie Cole, artist.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Robin Hood - Prince Of Thieves

Michael Kamen, artist.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo
Luck Of The Draw

Bonnie Raitt, artist.

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Good Man, Good Woman

Bonnie Raitt & Delbert McClinton, artists.

Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocal
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

Van Halen (Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Alex Van Halen, Edward Van Halen), artist.

Best Metal Performance
Metallica, GRAMMY winners

Metallica (Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Jason Newsted, Lars Ulrich), artist.

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Cliffs Of Dover

Eric Johnson, artist.

Best Rock Song
Sting, GRAMMY winner
Soul Cages

Sting, songwriter.

Best Alternative Music Album
Out Of Time

R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe), artist.

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female

Patti LaBelle, artist. (TIE)

How Can I Ease The Pain

Lisa Fischer, artist. (TIE)

Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male
Power Of Love

Luther Vandross, artist.

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

Boyz II Men (Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman), artist.

Best Rhythm & Blues Song
Power Of Love/Love Power

Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller & Teddy Vann, songwriters.

Best Rap Solo Performance
LL Cool J, GRAMMY winner
Mama Said Knock You Out

LL Cool J, artist.

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group

D.J. Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince (D.J. Jazzy Jeff, Fresh Prince, Will Smith, Jeff Townes), artist.

Best New Age Album
Fresh Aire 7

Chip Davis, artist.

Best Contemporary Jazz Performance

Manhattan Transfer (Cheryl Bentyne, Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel), artist.

Best Jazz Vocal Performance
He Is Christmas

Take 6 (Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, Joel Kibble, Mark Kibble, Claude V. McKnight III, David Thomas), artist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
I Remember You

Stan Getz, soloist.

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
Saturday Night At The Blue Note

Oscar Peterson Trio (Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Oscar Peterson), artist.

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance
Live At The Royal Festival Hall

Dizzy Gillespie, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
Down At The Twist And Shout

Mary Chapin Carpenter, artist.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Male
Ropin' The Wind

Garth Brooks, artist.

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Love Can Build A Bridge

Judds (Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd), artist.

Best Country Vocal Collaboration
Vince Gill

Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner & Vince Gill, artists.

Best Country Instrumental Performance
The New Nashville Cats

Mark O'Connor, artist.

Best Bluegrass Album
Spring Training

Carl Jackson & John Starling, artists.

Best Country Song
Love Can Build A Bridge

John Jarvis, Naomi Judd & Paul Overstreet, songwriters.

Best Rock/Contemporary Gospel Album
Under Their Influence

Russ Taff, artist.

Best Pop Gospel Album
For The Sake Of The Call

Steven Curtis Chapman, artist.

Best Southern Gospel Album

Gaither Vocal Band (Bill Gaither), artist.

Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
Pray For Me

Mighty Clouds Of Joy (Michael Cook, Elmo Franklin, Joe Ligon, Michael McCowan, Richard Wallace), artist.

Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, GRAMMY winner
Different Lifestyles
Best Gospel Album By Choir Or Chorus
The Evolution Of Gospel

Gary Hines, choir director.

Best Latin Pop Album
Cosas Del Amor

Vikki Carr, artist.

Best Tropical Latin Album
Bachata Rosa

Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 (Juan Luis Guerra), artist.

Best Mexican-American Album
16 de Septiembre

Little Joe, artist.

Best Traditional Blues Album
B.B. King
Live At The Apollo

B.B. King, artist.

Best Contemporary Blues Album
Damn Right, I've Got The Blues

Buddy Guy, artist.

Best Traditional Folk Album
The Civil War - Original Soundtrack

John Colby & Ken Burns, producers.

Best Contemporary Folk Album
The Missing Years

John Prine, artist.

Best Reggae Album
As Raw As Ever

Shabba Ranks, artist.

Best World Music Album
Planet Drum

Mickey Hart, artist.

Best Polka Album
Live At Gilley's!

Jimmy Sturr, artist.

Best Album For Children
A Capella Kids

Clifford "Barney" Robertson, producer.

Best Comedy Album
P.D.Q. Bach: WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio

Peter Schickele, artist.

Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album
The Civil War

Ken Burns, narrator.

Best Musical Show Album
The Will Rogers Follies

Cy Coleman, composer. Adolph Green & Betty Comden, lyricists. Cy Coleman & Mike Berniker, producers.

Best Instrumental Composition
Elton John, GRAMMY winner

Elton John, composer.

Best Instrumental Composition Written For A Motion Picture Or For Television
Dances With Wolves

John Barry, composer.

Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or For Television
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You (From Robin Hood - Prince Of Thieves)

Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen & Robert John "Mutt" Lange, songwriters.

Best Music Video - Short Form
Losing My Religion

R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe), artist. Tarsem, video director. Dave Ramser, video producer.

Best Music Video, Long Form
Madonna, GRAMMY winner
Madonna - Blonde Ambition World Tour Live

Madonna, artist. David Mallet & Mark "Aldo" Miceli, video directors. Anthony Eaton, video producer.

Best Arrangement On An Instrumental
Medley: Bess You Is My Woman/I Loves You Porgy

Dave Grusin, arranger.

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)

Johnny Mandel, arranger.

Best Engineered Album - Non-Classical
Al Schmitt
Unforgettable With Love

Al Schmitt, Armin Steiner, David Reitzas & Woody Woodruff, engineers.

Producer Of The Year (Non Classical)
David Foster
Best Album Package
Billie Holiday - The Complete Decca Recordings

Vartan, art director.

Best Album Notes
Star Time

Alan M. Leeds, Cliff White, Harry Weinger, James Brown & Nelson George, album notes writers.

Best Historical Album
Billie Holiday - The Complete Decca Recordings

Andy McKaie & Steven Lasker, producers.

Best Classical Album
Bernstein: Candide

Adolph Green, Christa Ludwig, Della Jones, Jerry Hadley, June Anderson, Kurt Ollmann & Nicolai Gedda, artists. Leonard Bernstein, conductor. Hans Weber, producer.

Best Orchestral Performance
Corigliano: Symphony No. 1

Daniel Barenboim, conductor.

Best Opera Recording
Wagner: Gotterdammerung

Bernd Weikl, Cheryl Studer, Ekkehard Wlaschiha, Hanna Schwarz, Hildegard Behrens, Matti Salminen & Reiner Goldberg, artists. James Levine, conductor. Cord Garben, producer.

Best Performance Of A Choral Work
Georg Solti, GRAMMY winner
Bach: Mass In B Minor

Margaret Hillis, choir director. Georg Solti, conductor.

Best Instrumental Soloist With Orchestra
Barber: Piano Concerto

John Browning, artist.

Best Classical Performance Instrumental Solo Without Orchestra
Granados: Goyescas; Allegro De Concierto; Danza Lenta

Alicia De Larrocha, artist.

Best Chamber Music Performance
Yo-Yo Ma
Brahms: Piano Quartets (Op. 25 & 26)

Emanuel Ax, Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo & Yo-Yo Ma, artists.

Best Classical Vocal Soloist
The Girl With Orange Lips (Falla, Ravel, etc.)

Dawn Upshaw, artist.

Best Contemporary Composition
Corigliano: Symphony No. 1

John Corigliano, composer.

Best Engineered Recording, Classical
Bernstein: Candide

Gregor Zielinsky, engineer.

Classical Producer Of The Year
James Mallinson